Magnetic actuation of hair cells

David Rowland, Yuttana Roongthumskul, Jae Hyun Lee, Jinwoo Cheon, Dolores Bozovic

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The bullfrog sacculus contains mechanically sensitive hair cells whose stereociliary bundles oscillate spontaneously when decoupled from the overlying membrane. Steady-state offsets on the resting position of a hair bundle can suppress or modulate this native motility. To probe the dynamics of spontaneous oscillation in the proximity of the critical point, we describe here a method for mechanical actuation that avoids loading the bundles or contributing to the viscous drag. Magnetite beads were attached to the tips of the stereocilia, and a magnetic probe was used to impose deflections. This technique allowed us to observe the transition from multi-mode to single-mode state in freely oscillating bundles, as well as the crossover from the oscillatory to the quiescent state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number193701
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 7

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
D.B. was supported in part by NSF Grant No. IOS-0920696 and by NIH Grant No. 1R01DC011380-01A1. J.C. was supported by Creative Research Initiative (2010-0018286), WCU (R32-2009-10217), BK21 Project, and AOARD (FA2386-10-1-4117).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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